The Tissot T-Touch is a well known and respected line of tech watches from one of Switzerland’s best known watch manufacturers. Tissot has built its name on crafting well built and affordable time pieces — something of a rarity from everyone’s favorite neutral federal republic. It has been nearly a year since I reviewed the Seastar 1000 and walked away impressed. The T-Touch Expert is the most feature packed model in the brands history and it offers a comprehensive mix of sport styling and easy to use tech.
The T-Touch line is famous for its “touch” ability that turns the regular-old sapphire crystal into a touch sensitive interface for selecting one of the many, many functions. Lets take a look under the hood:
- 43.6mm titanium case.
- Matching titanium bracelet.
- Sapphire crystal.
- Dual time zones.
- Dual Alarms*.
- Barometer (absolute and relative)*.
- Chronograph/Countdown timer*.
- Altimeter (can record difference)*.
- Compass (with Azimuth ability)*.
- Perpetual Counter.
- 100m Water Resistance.
- Integrated LCD with red backlight.
- Touch enabled crystal.
* Touch-activated features.
The above list, while somewhat overwhelming, shows what can be done with modern technology. The kind of tools that would have filled Batman’s utility belt can now be packed into a relatively small 43mm case. I remember seeing the spec sheet and being surprised by both the laundry list of features and the fact that almost every one of the features can be activated on the touch crystal, which has seven touch points. Some of the touch points even have two feature levels (ie. Chronograph/countdown timer) activated by tapping the allocated area twice.
your brain skip a beat with you pick it up. It looks heavy and solid but the titanium is light and relatively hollow feeling. It doesn’t feel cheap at all — it feels strong and confident while being worn, and is yet another watch that proves titanium is a great case and bracelet material. I am admittedly not the biggest fan of the styling on most Tissot watches, but I consider this to be a very handsome watch that is both cool and sporty without being too nerdy. The T-Touch Expert incorporates a large LCD screen that takes up most of the lower third of the dial and relates data in tandem with the hands based upon which feature you’ve selected. The chronograph-style side buttons are used to manipulate certain functions while the middle button is pressed to activate the touch mode or held down for two seconds to activate the backlight.
When a feature is activated the screen shows fine point data (heading, barometric pressure, lapsed time) while the hands take on a contextual meaning. For example, when the watch is in “meteo” mode the hands group together and depending on their position to the right or left of 12 o’clock, they indicate whether the pressure is rising or dropping. Depending on the amount of change in the hands position, you can predict bad weather. The best feature, as far as I’m concerned, is the ability to blend the features with standard time keeping mode so you
can monitor a feature on-screen and still have the time reading on the hands. This is a
great feature and really shows that Tissot knows what they are doing and what is needed in tech a watch. I can activate touch mode, choose the countdown timer by touching “chrono” twice, begin a countdown, and the watch returns to time keeping mode but leaves the countdown information on screen. Great for cooking, driving long distance, etc. Its just an obvious feature for a watch with a screen and I really appreciate it on the T-Touch Expert.
As previously noted, the bracelet is made of titanium so it is light and strong and I did not
find the review model to be especially scratch prone (titanium’s Achilles heel). The bracelet is noise free with a firm pushbutton divers-fold release and a nice folding divers extension inside the clasp. The extension is likely not designed for diving, per say, because the watch is
only rated to 100m and the functions cannot be used while submerged. I like to think of it at a jacket extension to get the watch on top of lighter weather protective clothing like jackets and sweaters. I usually have a complaint about the bracelet on almost every watch, but this is a rare exception. It’s light, precise, has a good clasp, and there’s no noise. If you get this watch, get it on the bracelet.
This is a great watch, but it is not without fault. Granted, you can only cram so much tech into one watch case, but where is the atomic regulation and solar charging capability? As the Expert is a premium watch, I feel like these features should be present. There is no watch that will be for everyone and no watch is perfect, but Tissot has come close to perfecting the tech watch. Obviously, the T-Touch Expert is not dressy or flashy nor is it especially boisterous for a sport watch whose peers are
covered in bumpy plastic. In a world ruled by G-Shocks and a few Suuntos, the Expert has come to the fight with solid build quality, sharp styling, and the easiest user interface of any watch since the single-button chronograph. The T-Touch Expert is a solid performer that is so dead simple to use, its like its powered by magic. Arthur C. Clark would have been impressed.
By James Stacey